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Femi was washing his hands, preparing for surgery. He could now do it without thinking, it was all muscle memory. Years of education, and then training, and then practice had brought him here. To be trusted with people’s bodies and their lives was a hard-earned honour. It had not been easy. He had endured late nights, long hours and never enough money. Even now, as an early career doctor, he was digging himself out of the financial hole his pursuit had left him in. 

He looked in the mirror at his scrubs and thought back to his childhood. He remembered the song ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC. It was strangely fitting. Despite all of his accomplishments and living his childhood dream, love had evaded him. Unlike the song, it was not material lack that prevented him from being an appealing partner. Instead, the all-consuming nature of his profession had made the search for love practically impossible. 

Examining his reflection, Femi wondered whether there existed in his psyche some more fundamental barriers to finding and being a mate. Alas, he had decided to specialise in cardiovascular medicine, so he did not have the tools to examine his own mind. That would have to wait. For now, different matters of the heart would occupy him. He was almost finished, now excavating the remnants of dirt under his nails, he would soon be ready for the morning’s surgery. He might never find love, but he would, shortly, literally hold a heart in his hand. Over the years, he would hold many hearts. Perhaps that would be enough.

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